A recent study conducted by Playtex revealed that the majority of moms don't know often to clean in order to avoid spreading germs especially in their infant's nursery. Microbiologist, Dr. Benjamin Tanner and Savvy Mommy, Victoria Pericon stopped by to share advice on properly cleaning and disinfecting germs.
Candace Rose: What can parents do to maintain a clean and germ free nursery?
Dr. Benjamin Tanner: "Alright, well I have three tips that hopefully will help out quite a bit to that. So first tip is you want to know where the germs are in the nursery. Most of the germs in the nursery are going to come originally from a dirty diaper. I hate to say that but it's true. So cascading down from that you'll see that there's a hot spot for germs on the changing table and then what we call high-touch surfaces that are surfaces that people have their hands on a lot like toys and door knobs, etc. So you want to first identify where the germs are and then after that there's two more tips- the first is about preventing the spread of germs in the nursery. What you want to do for that is you want to have a mess-free diaper changing routine. So you want to have for example antibacterial wipes nearby, everything you need at your fingertips and you want a good place to dispose the diapers. So if you have a Diaper Genie Elite it has a foot pedal that allows you to dispose of the diaper without having to fumble with the lid or set the diaper down and potentially spread germs in the that matter. And then the last bit of the puzzle is to do regular disinfection and for that I like for anyone who is maintaining a nursery to know to use an EPA registered disinfectant; and then there's a tip I can give there which is to do a water wipe down after the disinfection process. And then you get the benefit of the chemical disinfectant without any of the negativity associated with chemical residual."
Candace Rose: Dr. Tanner, you recently conducted a nursery germ swab test in Victoria's home. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Tanner: "Sure, so Victoria was brave and kind enough to let a microbiologist into her nursery and what we did there was we swabbed with sterile swabs on a variety of surfaces like the side of the crib, the inside of the crib, a toy, a changing table and we looked for two different categories of germs. The first is just background germs which aren't harmful and then the second is germs that can indicate the presence of bad germs and we found very low levels in general in her nursery, so she has a very hygienic nursery and is doing some things right and not surprisingly we found intestinal type germs on the high-touch surface of a toy, and also the changing table."
Candace Rose: What can moms do on a daily basis in order to minimize germs?
Dr. Tanner: "Daily basis just have a nice well prepared set up diaper change routine first and then disinfect those high-touch surfaces after you certainly have a messy change; and wash your hands regularly as well."
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to cleansers- how do moms know which ones are safe to use on their baby?
Dr. Tanner: "Well, there's two things going on there. So you have the safety of a cleaner and then you have what we call its efficacy or the ability to kill germs. You want to look for signal words on the label like 'disinfectants', 'sanitizes', 'kills germs' and that tells you it's an EPA registered disinfectant and that will help keep germs under control. In terms of safety with disinfectants you have the benefit of they have signal words on the back and they'll either have no safety warning or they'll say 'caution', 'warning' or 'danger'. You want to stick with something that's either caution or no signal word on the label when you're using it in a sensitive environment like a nursery."
Candace Rose: Victoria, as a busy mom of four, can you tell us a little bit about your cleaning routine?
Victoria Pericon: "I pretty much have been doing the same routine since I only had one child. I've just kept it going and try to make it a little bit more efficient with the time that we have now. So I've been washing my hands after doing the diaper changes, I've been wiping down the diaper changes, I've been wiping down the changing table mattress and also making sure that things are in the right place in the room so that the toys are in the toy bin, and the diapers are in the diaper caddy so that things aren't on the floor. And then now because of the results from Dr. Tanner's swab test of the nursery I've also made sure to clean the hard toys that my son has a little more frequently to make sure that those are always great for him to have."
Candace Rose: What advice do you have for busy moms, such as yourself?
Victoria Pericon: "I find that germs are everywhere so don't be too frightened about it and think that you have to clean nonstop in order to have a good home for your family. Pair it with commonsense like most of us do and you'll find that what you're doing in your routine is perfectly find and things are going to be okay for children."
Candace Rose: This question is for both of you- do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Dr. Tanner: "Sure, so you can find; we've shared a few tips with your viewers but you can find some more tips at PlaytexBaby.com on how to keep a clean and germ free nursery, and I think probably SavvyMommy.com has some tips also."